Ampalaya Salad with Fried Tilapia

Ampalaya salad isn’t as bad as it sounds. atila1More a relish than a dish, it pairs superbly with fried fish, lechon kawali or other sinfully fat filled partners. The reaction to my earlier ampalaya entries really got me thinking so today I did the heretofore unthinkable and made a raw ampalaya salad. Wash a nice large fresh ampalaya, scoop out the seeds and cut it into very thin strips and sprinkle with rock salt and leave it in a colander to sweat… after an hour or so, squeeze the liquid out of it. Others might rinse it too but I didn’t as I wanted the salt in the salad. Add several tablespoons of native vinegar or I actually used apple cider vinegar for mine, add some chopped onions, a little garlic, one tomato, some chilli, sugar and if it lacks salt a little fish sauce. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes and serve chilled.

While preparing the salad, I got really brave and popped a raw slice or two of ampalaya into my mouth. You know, it wasn’t half bad! atila2Chris, a reader had written this in a comment and I just had to test for myself. In fact, I found it to be less bitter than some cooked ampalayas! The salad was interesting. I wouldn’t say it falls in my Top 10 salads but it wasn’t bad. With a little getting used to I could see why others really like this concoction with fried dishes. The vinegar acid and bitter bite complement the fried salty flesh of fish or meat. It went brilliantly with the fried tilapias you see in the photos. And that is the last of the ampalaya entries for a while…


13 Responses

  1. Market man sarap yang pritong tilapia at ampalaya salad ginutom mo na naman ako,copy ko yang recipe mo pag may bunga na yong ampalaya ko. salamat

  2. your tilapia must have loved the salad that accompanied him. look, it’s smiling! :-)

  3. any dish with ampalaya is my favorite, but i really don’t know why i haven’t tried this salad…well, like you Market man it will be my first time to taste it…i’ll prepare it for my dinner tonight!

  4. Hmmm, tried it with vinegar and tomatoes but never with garlic so I think I’ll try your version. Am emailing my friend to read this entry so she can try to make it your way. Thanks!

  5. The pairing of ampalaya and fried tilapia was a good one. Ann, I think you fall into the addicted category…there are those that suggest there is something in ampalaya that makes yuo want to have it again and again… kind a like the addictive quality of chillis.

    I tried a delicious mustasa salad the other day with bagoong and calamansi or suka and it was excellent with a fried catfish…will try to replicate it one of these days…

  6. I agree with Carol, the fish looks happy! Tee hee!

    Marketman, perhaps next time you’re in Tagaytay you can try going to the SVD Retreat House. The ladies who run the kitchen sell a wonderful ampalaya salad. It’s similar to yours, but without tomatoes. Chillies are optional. I just thought I’d tell you because after they serve it during retreats, it becomes a bestseller even among non-ampalaya, non-vegetable eaters.

  7. Gosh! Sarap ng ampalaya salad! My mom makes it once in awhile and perfect nga yan with prito stuff! Or even grilled stuff! I like the ampalaya thinly sliced so the pait is not too much!

  8. squeezing the liquid out of it maybe a good idea for this item. I also have recepe with ampala salad. add some chopped onions, tomato, some chilli, salt, tuna sardines. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes and serve chilled. try it!

  9. I usually make this salad and really it is good with anything fried to go with it. Try to add boiled egg or much better with “itlog na maalat” it will surely be a perfect blend.

  10. This relish keeps well in the fridge. When I’m feeling I’ve had too much fastfood during the week, I make this with horseradish, carrots and green mango. I use calamansi for souring and we’re good to go.

  11. Hmmmmm…i will definitely try this….great looking salas…my friend makes a delish salad of this…she says she adds calamansi when I asked why the tangy flavor. Let me try this…

  12. try grilling the amapalya lightly then thinly cut it. You may even like it better.



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